• Compensation and Benefits... An Important Combination When Attracting and Retaining Talented Staff

    Figuring out the right combination of compensation and benefits is the key to attracting and retaining top talent within your organization. Since 2002, the HFTP Americas Research Center has been tracking trends and publishing the HFTP Compensation and Benefits Survey.

  • GDPR in Hospitality: Vendor Compliance Query Template Available to Industry

    As a professional association, Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) created a group of hospitality industry experts to develop hospitality-specific guidelines to assist with preparation for General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance.

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    The European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that was announced in April 2016 put in place a substantial mandate on EU-based organizations, as well as any organization doing business with EU citizens.

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Startups, curiosity marketing, blockchain and AI

Tnooz·21 February 2018
Negotiating the travel tech landscape can be confusing – so many solutions, so many vendors, so many choices. For those who need help to guide them through the options, the trends and the contexts, a good place to start is the conference program at eTravel World, taking place this March as part of ITB Berlin.
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How the rise of bleisure among Millennials is shaping travel technology

Tnooz·21 February 2018
A new study by Travelport find that Millennials’ preference for bleisure travel drives a need for smoother digital interactions throughout the journey. The survey of 11,000 travelers in 19 countries who took at least one return flight in the last year finds that the adequacy and availability of digital trip management can be a major point of frustration for millennials in the UK

Why more business travelers are leaving cash behind

Tnooz·21 February 2018
Cash is going out of business. Alternative payments are taking over the world with some already comfortable with touchless payments, invisible payments and mobile wallets as part of their everyday shopping habit. Now, Barclaycard says this trend is spilling over to the business travel space. As the popularity of bleisure grows, consumer habits are infiltrating the corporate travel space. Barclaycard conducted a survey of 250 travel decision-makers to explore this shift in greater depth.

Where are airlines in the battle for online dominance?

Tnooz·20 February 2018
With digital giants like Airbnb, TripAdvisor, and a myriad of others battling for dominance, the travel industry has become home to some of the most exciting online brands. Visibly missing from this mix are the companies most responsible for getting us from one place to another – airlines. Overall, the airline industry has seen relative stagnation in their web traffic, as sites like expedia.com, orbitz.com, skyscanner.net, kayak.com, and others have become the standard destination for booking travel.
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Canary Wharf's East Wintergarden shows how 360o VR can work for MICE

Tnooz·20 February 2018
Canary Wharf’s iconic East Wintergarden has unveiled a new 360º virtual reality tour which helps prospective events managers better appreciate the space. The tour is intended to help attract more clients, especially international organizations who might want to explore the East Wintergarden before heading off to London to visit in person. East Wintegarden says that its international clients are growing, in part spurred by the site’s proximity to London City Airport, as well as the number of international organizations with offices in Canary Wharf.
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Why hotels have nothing to fear from robots or AI

Tnooz·20 February 2018
Androids may one day dream of electric sheep, but hotels shouldn’t lose sleep over it—so long as they have their data ducks all in a row. SiteMinder and IDeaS Revenue Solutions suggest that a future of properties with robots handling guest services and AI managing operations might be just right for delivering optimal product and service personalization.

Can awful airline customer service be overridden with AI and analytics?

Tnooz·19 February 2018
After the debacles that occurred within domestic air travel in 2017, it’s clear airlines need to look carefully at their customer service tactics. Unfortunately, airlines often get away with poor customer service due to near-monopolies in some geographies. And this poor service most often hits the economy passenger rather than the high-tiered frequent flyer who receives a markedly different experience.

The problem with programmatic advertising in an age of disinformation

Tnooz·19 February 2018
The media landscape is changing and media buying needs to adapt. From the handling of disinformation campaigns by social platforms, to YouTubers behaving badly, to social media advocates pushing brands to end associations with publishers or other brands which have fallen afoul, brand managers and media buyers need to stay alert to keep their messaging on-message. Not only do brands have to worry about inappropriate placement, they’re also vulnerable to click fraud; ensuring that “you get what you paid for” may actually become more complicated.

Putting faith in artificial intelligence to help with marketing campaigns

Tnooz·19 February 2018
Saul Lopes, Virgin Holidays customer lifecycle lead, took a leap of faith on artificial intelligence as a tool to improve the brand’s email marketing efforts by working with UK AI start-up Phrasee, and has seen that faith rewarded with over the past three years. Virgin Holidays increased email open rates by two percentage points which generated several million pounds in revenue, though Virgin will not disclose the exact figure.
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Air New Zealand gets emojinal with destination campaign

Tnooz·16 February 2018
Air New Zealand has launched a new destination campaign which helps travelers findAir New Zealand has launched a new destination campaign which helps travelers find their ideal locations to visit in New Zealand by querying their activities preferences using Emojis. Air New Zealand has launched a new destination campaign which helps travelers find their ideal locations to visit in New Zealand by querying their activities preferences using Emojis. On the airline’s dedicated EmojiJourney microsite travelers can click on an assortment of emojis which include outdoor activities, food, weather conditions and an alien for some reason. Actually, the alien marks “out of this world” locations.
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2.2% - a closer look into hotel conversion rates

Tnooz·15 February 2018
What is the average conversion for a hotel website? 2.2%. That’s according to a recent Fastbooking study. The US firm 80 Days, in an extensive report titled “The great unanswered digital questions of hoteliers” came to a similar conclusion: 2% percent. Both studies were conducted on hundreds of hotels, different in size, star rating, and location. Results, therefore, are pretty reliable, but this does not mean that if your hotel is performing below this percentage you are doing a mediocre job, au contraire! When it comes to hotels, in fact, there are dozens of factors and variables that can cause this number to fluctuate wildly.
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Another blockchain use case - the flying urban taxi market

Tnooz·15 February 2018
With the hype around blockchain in travel reaching fever pitch, why not toss something else into an already complicated equation – an initial coin offering (ICO) for an electrically charged flying urban taxi. At EyeforTravel’s recent digital and data summit in Amsterdam, there was plenty of buzz about the disruptive possibilities for blockchain technology in travel. But is a crypto-backed token to fund the take off of a flying car, which, the evangelists say, would change the way cities work and open new avenues for travel and tourism, a step too far?
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Sabre reports results from its 'transitional' year

Tnooz·15 February 2018
Last year was “transitional” for Sabre Corp., according to chief executive officer Sean Menke, and “we began this year in a much better position.”
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New generation of business travellers demand new generation tech

Tnooz·14 February 2018
Travel technology has tremendously changed the way we travel, from sharing our photos on social media to voice search via GPS-based navigation apps which can show us the way to great food, great attractions or great shops. And as people all over the world travel more and more for leisure, business travelers expect the same level of tech innovation and engagement to enhance the ease and efficiency of their corporate trip.
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Planes, trains and auto-fill: The future of holiday buying is faster, smarter and simpler

Tnooz·14 February 2018
When it comes to travel, customers have become an impatient bunch. People enjoy a reasonable amount of leisure time, comparatively high disposable income and raging FOMO – the fear of missing out on the latest restaurant or destination hostspot. And now they have the right tool to allow them to act spontaneously from anywhere; smartphones allow everyone to research and take advantage of last minute offers, deals, and travel promotions.
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TUI Group brings tours and activities out of the shadows

Tnooz·13 February 2018
TUI Group‘s ongoing digital transformation has created the infrastructure for “destination services” – as in tours, activities and transfers – to become a designated strategic growth area for the business. The news came as part of its 2018 Q1s released today. The importance of its destination services announcement is made clear in the presentation to analysts, which opens with slides about the present and future of this business line before talking about its strong Q1 performance.
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WeTravel attracts $2 million in funding, looks to Europe for expansion

Tnooz·13 February 2018
WeTravel, a startup that helps groups, semi-professionals and travel companies organise trips and collect payment, has raised $2 million in seed funding. The round comes from investors including the House Fund, 500 startups, Amino Capital and TubeMogul former CEO Brett Wilson, who joins WeTravel’s board. WeTravel says funds will go towards building out its platform further and expansion. The company is opening a new office in Europe.
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Expedia earnings: Cloud migration, supply expansion, and HomeAway

Tnooz· 9 February 2018
Earnings calls generally get interesting towards the end. While it’s useful to hear how a business is doing, it’s equally revealing to hear how executives respond to analyst questions. Outside of the practiced company line, these questions often highlight some compelling questions.

Trivago tackles the fluctuations of concentration

Tnooz· 8 February 2018
Hotel meta Trivago has filed its first full-year accounts as a Nasdaq-listed company, revealing a billion-dollars-plus of revenues and a narrowing of net losses, while reminding the market of its exposure to the decisions of Priceline and Expedia. Revenues for the year of €1,035.4 million were 37% up compared with 2016, while the net loss dropped from €51.4 million to €13 million, with its financial performance stronger earlier in the year.

Xbed pulls back the covers on $16 million in funding

Tnooz· 8 February 2018
Self-service hotel platform Xbed has announced RMB 100 million (approximately USD 16 million) as well as credit financing to the tune of hundreds of millions of Yuan in Series A funding. The investment was led by a government-backed industry fund. Founded in 2015, Xbed claims to be China’s first Internet hotel network, also known as unmanned hotels – accommodation can be managed through Xbed’s operational and sales system, and guests are able to manage room reservations, and check in and out of rooms using either the Xbed App or a WeChat account. Xbed uses a model similar to Uber’s in distributing short-term rentals and collective serviced apartments.

Blockchain unchained: A deep dive into the buzzword for 2018

Tnooz· 8 February 2018
Last month I spent a couple of days in Naples to meet a client. To keep the Italian-living-abroad-stereotype alive, every time I go back to the “BelPaese” I try to get as much good food as I can. I’ve been in Naples several times before, but I’ve never been able to eat at Gino Sorbillo’s Pizzeria. Now, unless you are from Naples or a true pizza enthusiast, the name will probably not ring any bell, but Sorbillo’s is one of the oldest pizza-making families in Naples. The queue to eat there is always incredibly long, but my client happens to be friend with the Sorbillo’s and booked me a table. To be honest, the place per se is nothing fancy, but the moment I put the first slice in my mouth I had an epiphany. I felt like Anton Ego after eating the cooked-by-rodents-Ratatouille in the Pixar’s movie by the same name: childhood memories of my grandmother’s cooking came back to me vividly. It was, without a doubt, the best pizza of my life.

Utrip applies AI to help TUI refine retailing for activities

Tnooz· 8 February 2018
TUI Destination Services has partnered with data-driven travel planning platform Utrip to introduce a new destination activities platform that allows travelers to rank and rate experiences based on their travel preferences. The collaboration with Utrip resulted from a partnership between TUI Group and Californian accelerator Plug and Play. The application uses artificial intelligence to sort destination activities on a new Trip Planner page offered on the TUI site for selecting destinations (New York City, Cancun, Tenerife and Punta Cana) based on the traveller’s rating of a selection of experiential metrics.

Podcast: SIMPLENIGHT's Mark Halberstein on the evolving the distribution landscape

Tnooz· 8 February 2018
In the latest Travel is Your Business podcast, I fly solo in an interview with Mark Halberstein, CEO of SIMPLENIGHT. The concept of the company is actually quite simple: to provide the simplest way to book travel across whichever channel a traveler prefers. Like most simple things, this is far more complex than it sounds. On its face, this is the kind of problem that the GDS was invented to solve: providing a single source of inventory for a multi-channel world. Yet channel proliferation has become one of the biggest issues facing travel suppliers, intermediaries, and the travelers themselves.
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Blockchain the enabler of new non-air standards project

Tnooz· 7 February 2018
Travel Ledger is a new initiative which is aiming to oversee a new B2B industry standard for settling non-air financial payments, in the same way that IATA’s BSP has become the global standard for the airline industry. It will be based on blockchain technology.
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How cutting-edge hotels use artificial intelligence for a great guest experience

Tnooz· 7 February 2018
In the 21st century, industries that resist integrating new technologies often lose their competitive edge. Businesses across the globe have realized how important it is to include contemporary digital technology to drive constant growth and revenue. The last decade has seen incredible innovations and breakthroughs in the landscape of digital solutions. One of such compelling technologies is Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Sabre launches 'Ella,' TSI's new virtual travel agent chatbot

Tnooz· 6 February 2018
Sabre Corp. launched a pilot program of a “virtual agent” chatbot powered by artificial intelligence with Dallas-headquartered Travel Services International USA (TSI). As with most initial forays into the world of bots, TSI expects its version, which it has named Ella, to start work handling basic routine service requests, freeing live agents to deal with more complex issues. The requests will come from TSI’s corporate customers, who will access Ella via the TSI app or by Facebook Messenger from TSI’s Facebook page, where customers can friend her.

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